Sapphire glass might not be ready for prime time

Sapphire glass might not be ready for prime time
Four times harder than regular glass, phone manufacturers have been talking about using sapphire glass as a replacement for Gorilla Glass, on a smartphone's display. But some manufacturers say that the time is not right for such a switch. Sure, to scratch sapphire glass, you would need a diamond, or some other material that rates a "10" on the hardness scale. Gorilla Glass is ranked as a "7" on the test. But there is more to look at besides a material's resistance to scratching. The pricing of a material is also important.

While sapphire glass is very expensive, Apple does use the material to cover the camera on the iPhone. On the Apple iPhone 5s, sapphire glass protects the fingerprint scanner that is embedded in the home button for Touch ID. With the scanner, the tiniest scratch can affect the results, which is why Apple has resorted to employing the material on the feature. But thus far, Apple has limited its use of sapphire glass to small pieces of the material.

Sapphire glass can be currently found on some luxury handsets, but the cost of the material is preventing it from being more widely used. Consider that the price of a large phone display made of Gorilla Glass is estimated to cost $3. A sapphire glass display of the same size would probably run about $30. LG took a look at using sapphire glass, and rejected the idea, because of the cost of obtaining the material.


And despite some recent videos claiming to show how unbreakable the alleged sapphire glass front panel of the iPhone 6 is, a representative from a major handset manufacturer says that the larger the size of a sapphire screen, the more brittle it is. And outside of Apple, no manufacturer will be able to procure a large enough supply of the stuff to not worry about inventory disruptions.

Thus, for now, Corning Gorilla Glass remains the material of choice for most smartphone displays. As for Apple and the iPhone, we will have to wait until the phone is unveiled, most likely in September, to see if the gang in Cupertino decides to make the switch to sapphire. If they do, it most likely will be Apple bearing the brunt of the additional cost of the material.


source: Engadget

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74 Comments

1. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

And Android Fabs be like ... Apple doesn't give it consumers quality products ... Apple can't innovate anymore ? My ass

6. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

Fans* lol

8. av911

Posts: 206; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Buying something someone else makes is innovative? They're f*ckin' good at that, then.

9. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

First smartphone with sapphire ? Not saying sapphire is innovative but it's a good step

16. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"First smartphone with sapphire ?" No! Vertu is using Sapphire glass like a minimum 3 years already or maybe even more.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Oh god, here he goes again.

30. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Also for those who are interested, here is how Sapphire glass is made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCER0uwiWI

19. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

I said a SMARTPHONE can you please tell me the name of the phone you are taking about ?

20. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"I said a SMARTPHONE can you please tell me the name of the phone you are taking about ?" Yes, I can tell you even few Vertu SMARTPHONE names! Vertu Signature Touch Vertu Constellation

22. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

Oh thank you ! I didn't know that :) Sorry for the mistake ! But you know I don't think the price of the iPhone 6 will be as these smartphone. Maybe the iPhone 6 will be the first phone to present it to the wide range of consumers. Again I'm sorry for not searching before typing that comment

24. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Here is few more: Vertu Constellation (2013 model) Vertu Ti Vertu Constellation Quest

26. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

You made your point :) Got it ;) I hope you got mine

27. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

No problem. :)

61. gregoryyy3 unregistered

You're such a loser

67. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Poor Apple fan butthurt because I have said the truth that iPhone 6 can't be the first smartphone with Sapphire glass. :D

69. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Why are you wasting your time arguing with an idiot over how awesome a phone feature is on the phone that no one outside of Apple knows anything about. Rumors, rumors, and more rumors, that's all we've been fed up until now. You've already proven that the feature isn't innovative, and even if it does turn out that the iPhone has sapphire glass, it still won't help the feature starved iOS.

43. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

What? No Way! Apple CREATED sapphire glass! Don't you know it?

49. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

hey! your definition of innovation sucks... using sapphire is innovation? if it is by your standard then why not made a feature phone out of a diamond with no camera, no internet etc bcoz it will be a huge innovation that phone is out of a diamond... for me using sapphire is nothing and not at all a significant innovation, what so ever... instead break through in graphine implemention for circuitry, break through in battery charge holding capacity, break through in a cam, break through in displays, break through in sound quality, call quality, signal quality & speed etc are real innovations for me

42. illusionmist

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

This BS again... How many times does it take for one to remember innovation =/= invention. What's the innovation here you ask? Improving the material and bring it to the mass market of course. Don't think that qualifies? Tell that to Thomas Edison.

50. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I tried to tell but thomas edison dont listen/hear anymore... thats really very rude, right?

58. av911

Posts: 206; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

"What's the innovation here you ask? Improving the material and bring it to the mass market of course. Don't think that qualifies? " Qualcomm improves their SoC every year and bring it to the masses, is that innovative? Phone cameras improve every year, is that innovative? Apple hoarded all the material and paid someone else to develope and produce that stuff. Great innovation, indeed.

59. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

hey dude... thats the technology which I am talking about, not the material which is just for exterior... ok its not bad to have scartch proof glass but does it relate to the technology running inside the phone? read my above comment again for your reference... it state all, soc cam disp etc sapphire is a great innovation indeed bcoz may be you are an i$heep... by the way this your innovation of sapphire has been done by vertu before... still credit doesnt go to apple for bringing it to phones... again its not an innovation bcoz this idea has been taken by apple from other manufacturer(vertu may be)... copying some idea is by no standard is an innovation

10. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

About what innovations you are talking here?

11. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

I'm talking in general ... Apple will continue to innovate. I think in one way or another something about the i6 will be innovative. Similarly with the iWatch, which I don't think will be coming this fall

15. Killertech2099

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Why you are prejudging ? Did you see the iPhone 6? Did you know it's price ? How do you know it will be innovative? Sucks to be struck by your own questions. In general you know nothing about what innovation is.

21. iGeek

Posts: 171; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

Let's see, I said I think which means I'm predicting and my prediction cause be true/false.

31. Killertech2099

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

"Could be" and you lost me at innovation. Your prediction sucks

62. gregoryyy3 unregistered

It's ok if you think his prediction sucks. You probably have no friends so you have to sit on here all day to put other down. Insecurity at it's finest!

68. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"You probably have no friends so you have to sit on here all day to put other down." And what about you? You are also here! And looks like you are out of reasonable argument so you start to insult other people and it is insecurity at it's finest!

74. Killertech2099

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

It's ok he's just a hothead, my friends and my insecurities have nothing to do with the article. I let the trolls keep talking lol i think he meant "other's"

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